Getting the Points: Understanding How Indiana Traffic Violations Can Add Up to Trouble
In a previous post, I discussed a number of factors you should consider when faced with the choice of contesting or accepting a conviction for a moving violation or other Indiana traffic offense. One of the more significant issues is how a conviction will be reflected on your driving record and how it will affect your ability to drive as well as how much you pay for car insurance. The impact of your Indiana moving violation conviction will largely depend on the Indiana Driver’s License Point System.
What is the Indiana Point System?
Under Indiana law, each moving violation conviction is assigned a certain number of “points,” from zero to eight. The point value relates to the seriousness of the offense in posing a risk to traffic safety. Points stay active on an individual’s driving record for two years from the conviction date.
A complete list of all moving violations and their corresponding points can be found at 140 IAC 1-4.5-10. Some of the more common Indiana traffic offenses and their assigned points include:
- 1 – 15 mph over the speed limit: 2 point violation
- 16 – 25 mph over the speed limit: 4 point violation
- 26+ mph over the speed limit: 6 point violation
- Failure to use headlights: 2 point violation
- No brake or signal lights: 2 point violation
- Disregard stop/yield sign: 6 point violation
- Fail to yield to emergency vehicle: 8 point violation
- Improper U-turn: 4 point violation
- Following too closely: 6 point violation
- Unsafe lane movement: 4 point violation
- Failure to yield: 6 point violation
- Speed contest on road: 8 point violation
- Improper motorcycle headgear: 4 point violation
- Improper motorcycle passenger: 4 point violation
- Driving while suspended: 8 point violation
Consequences of Points Accumulation
If you accumulate more than 18 points within a two year period, a hearing will be held at which your license could be suspended for up to one year. If you get three moving violations within a 12 month period, you may also face an administrative hearing at which your license could be suspended. Additionally, it is important to note that states share their traffic offense information with one another, and a moving violation in another state will be assigned the appropriate points under Indiana’s points system and be counted toward the total amount of allowable points for a given period.
Car insurance companies use points and convictions to set their insurance rates, so every ticket and every point you accumulate will have a direct impact on how much you pay for the car insurance you are required to have under Indiana law.
If you’ve been issued a ticket, you owe it to yourself to understand your options. Fighting back may be the best course of action and the one may spare you from significant consequences now and down the road. Talk to an experienced Indiana traffic ticket lawyer before deciding what to do.
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